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Nearly 800,000 deaths prevented due to declines in smoking
Date:3/14/2012

Twentieth-century tobacco control programs and policies were responsible for preventing more than 795,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States from 1975 through 2000, according to an analysis funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

If all cigarette smoking in this country had ceased following the release of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health in 1964, a total of 2.5 million people would have been spared from death due to lung cancer in the 36 years following that report, according to the analysis. The results of this study were published online March 14, 2012, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"These findings provide a compelling illustration of the devastating impact of tobacco use in our nation and the enormous benefits of reducing rates of smoking," said Robert Croyle, Ph.D., director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at NCI. "Although great strides have been made, we cannot relax our efforts. The prevention and cessation of tobacco use continue to be vital priorities for the medical, scientific, and public health communities."

The researchers, part of the NCI-sponsored Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET), utilized a comparative modeling approach in which they constructed detailed cigarette smoking histories for individuals born from 1890 through 1970, and then related the histories to lung cancer mortality in mathematical models. Using these models, the researchers were able to estimate the impact of changes in smoking patterns resulting from tobacco control activities on lung cancer deaths during the period from 1975 through 2000. Since the 1964 report, tobacco control efforts in the United States have included restrictions on smoki
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Contact: NCI Office of Media Relations
ncipressofficers@mail.nih.gov
301-496-6641
NIH/National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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